The Green Bay Packers‘ offense was woefully short-handed going into their Week 16 matchup with the Carolina Panthers. One would never have thought that were the case as the offense put up 33 points while quarterback Jordan Love put up his seventh game of the season with multiple touchdown passes with no interceptions. The defense, on the other hand, did not look nearly as good.
While the defense has struggled and calls to fire Joe Barry have increased, the offense has not accepted its youth, inexperience, or injuries to be excuses. They have truly adopted the “next man up” mentality and their chemistry has grown week after week as a result.
The Packers, unfortunately, were without wide receiver Christian Watson and Jayden Reed and tight end Luke Musgrave. Reed, who leads the team in receptions and is second in receiving yards, missed with an ankle injury while Watson is still recovering from a bad hamstring injury. Musgrave was recently designated to return from injured reserve as he recovers from a lacerated kidney.
Without three of his top pass catchers, Love and the Packers needed others to step up in order to help the offense roll. While there were great supplementary performances from Bo Melton and Tucker Kraft, it was Dontayvion Wicks who found the end zone.
Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Dontayvion Wicks Is Quietly Putting Together a Solid Season
Wicks had two receptions for 29 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against the Panthers. On the season, he now has 33 receptions for 520 yards and two touchdowns. Love also has a 103.4 passer rating when targeting him. He now more receiving yards than the following Packers wide receivers had in their rookie seasons:
- Davante Adams
- Allen Lazard
- Randall Cobb
- Romeo Doubs
- Jordy Nelson
- Donald Driver
- Antonio Freeman
Of course, there are many others; but these are some of more recent and bigger names that Wicks has already surpassed.
Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Dontayvion Wicks Suffered a Chest Injury vs the Carolina Panthers
Unfortunately, the already injury-ridden Packers receiving core took another hit on Sunday. Wicks took a bad shot to the chest on his 21-yard touchdown reception. He was taken to the locker room for testing, attempted to come back in, but was not able to.
The fear among many was that he had suffered broken ribs. However, Tom Silverstein of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Wicks avoided serious injury:
Talked to #Packers WR Dontayvion Wicks about the chest injury that forced him out of the #Panthers game. He said X-rays showed he did not break any ribs. When asked whether he would be ready for the #Vikings next week, he said he would see how things go in the next few days.
— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) December 24, 2023
As Silverstein reports, Wicks’ status for the Packers’ must-win game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night on New Years’ Eve is not yet known.
The Packers did not practice on Monday, of course, and head coach Matt LaFleur also gave them Tuesday off.